I’m going to take a little deviation from running posts to talk about my experience modeling at 2 fashion shows last week!
I met Bay Area artist and designer, Ellen Brook, at the bar I work at. She asked if I would be interested in modeling one of her hand-painted silk designs on the runway. I thought it would be an interesting experience for me, so I took her up on the offer!
Saturday, September 20, 2014
On Saturday morning, I woke up early for a 10:30 am call time (in bartender hours, 10:30 am is EARLY!). I met Ellen and her hair and makeup team at the Michael Angelo Gallery in Santa Cruz.
A few designs from previous Fashion Art Shows featured in the gallery
Let me tell you, I have never worn so much makeup in my life! I had layers of primer, foundation, blush and eye shadow caked on. I was even airbrushed! Initially, it was shocking to see myself decked out in false eyelashes and thick eyeliner, but this was stage makeup. I decided to relax into my model character and just go with it! And it turned out to be crazy fun 🙂
Snapshot of my hair
At 2 p.m we headed over to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, which would host the Fashion Art show.
There was a dress rehearsal at 2:30, and we were able to work on our runway walk. I have NEVER walked a runway before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to do! But Ellen used a variety of models for her show, many with experience to show us newbies the ropes.
Don’t fall don’t fall don’t fall
After the dress rehearsal, it was time for hair and makeup touch-ups:
If I were to estimate how long I spent having my hair and makeup worked on throughout the day, I would say at least an hour to an hour and a half…such an astounding amount of time! But the stylist, Teresa, and her assistant worked their magic to make all of us models runway-ready.
Just before showtime, we were treated to a small pour of Cazadores aka liquid courage…
We had a nice little bonding cheers with the designer before heading out on to the runway!
Ellen Brook, in red
Stepping out on to that stage, in front of over 1500 people, was surreal and exciting! In my mind, I desperately wanted to do justice and show off the clothes that Ellen and her team worked tirelessly at designing and constructing. She used the song “Mercy” by Duffy for her segment of the show, and asked us to embody a “serious yet sassy” character to match the song, and her flirty clothing line. But Imnotgonna lie, my knees were knocking as I walked! Halfway down the runway I paused to pose for the first time, and when I turned toward the audience I was bombarded with flash bulbs! I was stunned by the number of photographers, it was like walking the red carpet…which was very intimidating! What an adrenaline rush though, to finally step out on to that stage!
Photo credit: Jana Marcus
I did the best I could, trying to channel everything I’ve seen on Project Runway!
Once I was finished with my solo walk, I was relieved to be done. We had to do one final walk-out, or cascade, with Ellen and all of us models. By this time, my nerves were gone and I was just exhilarated!
Photo Credit: Mike Higuet santacruzwaves.com
Such a vibrant and beautiful collection!
After the runway, we attended a trunk show outside to mingle with the guests and talk about Ellen’s designs. It was around 10 pm by the time I was able to leave the show, and my first day as a model was complete!
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Anne and Mark’s Art Party was actually a week long event in San Jose, featuring all kinds of art exhibitions, including art displays, dance performances, and a runway show. Fashion Art Santa Cruz occupied the runway at 8 pm on Thursday, taking place at the Santa Clara fair grounds in the middle of an art gallery.
Call time for this event for me was 2:30 on the day of the show. We were on a much more limited schedule, so I spent a little less time in the hair and makeup chair. When I say less, I mean I was still decked out with false eyelashes and caked on makeup, but I had less time for touch ups. My hair was slightly different, which I like, pulled back tight in a high pony tail:
I arrived at the actual venue around 4 and had a few hours to kill before the actual show. There was no dress rehearsal this time, so a couple models and I scoped out the stage.
It was significantly smaller than the one in San Jose, which helped me relax a bit more. The gallery would not be open to the public until 6, so we had some time to wander about and check out the art exhibits. Oh, and down a couple glasses of complimentary wine. The life of a model is rough! 😉
At 7:30, I found myself backstage getting dressed for the 8 pm show. The anticipation before the walkout is perhaps the hardest; waiting waiting waiting for that final moment when you hit the stage! Time moves so fast during the actual show: one minute I was waiting in the curtains, the next minute I was being escorted up the steps and onto the stage!
Photo credit: Kathy Conroy
IG screenshot of the runway video
My game plan this time was to just pose a lot and let the photographers flash their cameras! I tried to pace myself much slower this time, which I think I did. I saw a video later, and there were a few corrections I wish I could make, but my pacing was much more solid than the first time around. After stepping off the runway, we continued to walk through the gallery with audience members lined up along the side so that they could get a closer look at the garments. This was a neat touch to the show, especially if someone couldn’t get a good view of the stage.
We had one final cascade for all of the models and designers in the show, and then after had time to wander through the crowd.
Hanging with a couple other ladies…how beautiful are these fabrics?! And one of a kind! Such an honor to wear!
Photo credit: Blue Donya
I was so happy because my boyfriend was able to attend this show too:
Fashion may not be his area of interest, but it was great to have some support in such a nerve-racking experience! Another long day had finished, and it was time to hang up my wedges and head home.
Modeling is not something I have ever set out to do, but the opportunity presented itself and I leapt in. The whole ordeal was surreal-from the dramatic hair and makeup, fittings, dress rehearsals, to finally stepping out on to that stage. It was like I was living a different life for a moment! It wasn’t easy to maintain my composure, while trying to keep my trembling nerves in check, but I’m so happy for the experience. Life is all about challenging yourself and pushing yourself to limits you never expected possible! (Which is why I love running 🙂 ) You don’t grow living in a bubble, so when the opportunity arises to step out of your comfort zone-take it…the rewards are limitless!